In Lawrence, Kan., Jayhawk basketball is bigger than life.
Nobody knows this better than CSUâ€™s sophomore guard Dorian Green, who was born and raised in the city.
Son of a former Jayhawks football player, Dorian grew up as part of the KU program.
â€œLawrence kind of revolves around KU,â€ Green said. â€œEspecially athletics and basketball. Itâ€˜s a big part of growing up, everybody is a fan, everybody watches it.â€
During his time at Lawrence High School, Green quickly asserted himself as the best player in the city.
During his senior season, Green averaged 22.6 points per game, was a 6A first team All-Kansas selection, was named the Lawrence area player of the year, and exploded for 37 points in a game, all while leading his Lions to the state championship game.
When asked about his high school career, the ever-modest Green made no mention of his remarkable statistics or awards.
â€œI played pretty good in high school,â€ Green said. â€œMy teammates and I grew up playing together all along. Thatâ€˜s pretty much it.â€
Green committed to Colorado State in the spring of 2009, choosing the Rams over competing schools Creighton, Western Kentucky, UMKC and Wagner College.
It didnâ€™ t take long for the 6-foot-2 guard to make an impact in Fort Collins. As a freshman, Green led the Rams with 11.8 points per game, knocking in 59 three-pointers while shooting 83 percent from the free throw line.
Greenâ€™s numbers have regressed a bit in his sophomore season, likely as a result of the Rams improving depth at guard, according to head coach Tim Miles.
â€œDorian usually scores with the ball in his hand. When heâ€˜s attacking and he gets screen, or a half-step advantage or whatever it might be,â€ Miles said. â€œWith Jesse back, heâ€™s not been able to handle the ball as much as he used to so thatâ€™s why his production is down. We gotta get (Green) playing better without the ball.â€
Green is aware of his changing role in the offense but thinks a change in mindset could help him return to his freshman year productivity.
Green said that with the teamâ€™s depth, roles have changed, and people are still adjusting.
â€œI think my main focus is to be more aggressive. It doesnâ€˜t really matter who is scoring points. We are going to be fine offensively,â€ Green said.
On Saturday, the Rams will play just 30 miles from Greenâ€˜s home town, against the team he grew up idolizing.
Still, Green is not intimidated by the prospect of playing against his childhood team.
â€œItâ€˜s going to be a little different. Itâ€˜s going to be exciting,â€ Green said. â€œItâ€™s a great challenge for us. We talk about trying to put Colorado State on the map, to go and beat KU is a great way to do it. Weâ€˜ve got to be aggressive and go right at them.â€
Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at email@example.com.